The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 002 : TELEHEALTH(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 9362)
§ 9362. Health care providers delivering health care services by audio-only telephone
(a) As used in this section, “health insurance plan” and “health care provider” have the same meaning as in 8 V.S.A. § 4100l and “telemedicine” has the same meaning as in 8 V.S.A. § 4100k.
(b)(1) Subject to the limitations of the license under which the individual is practicing and, for Medicaid patients, to the extent permitted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a health care provider may deliver health care services to a patient using audio-only telephone if the patient elects to receive the services in this manner and it is clinically appropriate to do so. A health care provider shall comply with any training requirements imposed by the provider’s licensing board on the appropriate use of audio-only telephone in health care delivery.
(2) A health care provider delivering health care services using audio-only telephone shall include or document in the patient’s medical record:
(A) the patient’s informed consent for receiving services using audio-only telephone in accordance with subsection (c) of this section; and
(B) the reason or reasons that the provider determined that it was clinically appropriate to deliver health care services to the patient by audio-only telephone.
(3)(A) A health care provider shall not require a patient to receive health care services by audio-only telephone if the patient does not wish to receive services in this manner.
(B) A health care provider shall deliver care that is timely and complies with contractual requirements and shall not delay care unnecessarily if a patient elects to receive services through an in-person visit or telemedicine instead of by audio-only telephone.
(c) A health care provider delivering health care services by audio-only telephone shall obtain and document a patient’s oral or written informed consent for the use of audio-only telephone prior to the appointment or at the start of the appointment but prior to delivering any billable service.
(1) The informed consent for audio-only telephone services shall be provided in accordance with Vermont and national policies and guidelines on the appropriate use of telephone services within the provider’s profession and shall include, in language that patients can easily understand:
(A) that the patient is entitled to choose to receive services by audio-only telephone, in person, or through telemedicine, to the extent clinically appropriate;
(B) that receiving services by audio-only telephone does not preclude the patient from receiving services in person or through telemedicine at a later date;
(C) an explanation of the opportunities and limitations of delivering and receiving health care services using audio-only telephone;
(D) informing the patient of the presence of any other individual who will be participating in or listening to the patient’s consultation with the provider and obtaining the patient’s permission for the participation or observation;
(E) whether the services will be billed to the patient’s health insurance plan if delivered by audio-only telephone and what this may mean for the patient’s financial responsibility for co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles; and
(F) informing the patient that not all audio-only health care services are covered by all health plans.
(2) For services delivered by audio-only telephone on an ongoing basis, the health care provider shall be required to obtain consent only at the first episode of care.
(3) If the patient provides oral informed consent, the provider shall offer to provide the patient with a written copy of the informed consent.
(4) Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection to the contrary, a health care provider shall not be required to obtain a patient’s informed consent for the use of audio-only telephone services in the case of a medical emergency.
(5) A health care provider may use a single informed consent form to address all telehealth modalities, including telemedicine, store and forward, and audio-only telephone, as long as the form complies with the provisions of section 9361 of this chapter and this section.
(d) Neither a health care provider nor a patient shall create or cause to be created a recording of a provider’s telephone consultation with a patient.
(e) Audio-only telephone services shall not be used in the following circumstances:
(1) for the second certification of an emergency examination determining whether an individual is a person in need of treatment pursuant to section 7508 of this title; or
(2) for a psychiatrist’s examination to determine whether an individual is in need of inpatient hospitalization pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 4815(g)(3). (Added 2021, No. 6, § 5, eff. March 29, 2021.)